To shorten the story of Naomi and Ruth, I will begin with Naomi and her daughters-in-law in the deaths of their husbands. Naomi being windowed and poor gave her daughters-in- law a choice to leave their country or follow her. Ruth and Orpah were not of the same tribe as Naomi, they were Moabs, and Naomi was Judean, and originally from Bethlehem, Judah where she was planning to return. Orpah made the decision to stay in Moab and kissed her mother-in-law goodbye. Ruth decided to go with Naomi even though Naomi pleaded with her not to follow her. Ruth’s response was for Naomi not to urge her to leave or turn back. Ruth was adamant, and said “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Good things happened to both Naomi and Ruth when they left Moab and returned to Naomi’s homeland. You can read the story and you will see the path, in my perspective, the perfect example of loyal love to someone you are clinging close to and God working out everything according to His purpose and His loyal love to you.
Hold on, wait a minute now! Here is an added piece to this story as it reflects Jesus’ calling to follow Him. In Matthew 10:35 Jesus declared that He had not come to bring peace to the earth. “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Jesus’ expectation is and was that if one claimed to love Him, him or her would demonstrate loyal love towards Him and love for God, they may have to leave their family to go wherever He wants them to go and do as He did, in being His witness and sharing His compassion and love. He has given the believer the Holy Spirit, the heart of loyal love and power to follow Him (Acts 1: 8; Romans 5:5).
Moral of the story: Cling close and show loyal love to those who follow God in truth and Spirit. And most of all, cling close to Jesus.